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Research Assistant - Housing Performance Evaluation

Birmingham City University - School of Engineering and the Built Environment

Location: City Centre Campus (Millennium Point)

Fixed Term - 24 Months

Closing Date: Friday 16 December 2022

Located in a modern £300M campus in the heart of Birmingham, the School of Engineering and the Built Environment is a thriving, vibrant, and inspiring learning community committed to excellence in research.

The Centre for Future Homes research group aims to create better homes for people. This involves reducing energy use and carbon impact but importantly improving comfort and internal air quality. The context of the group´s research is the world of practice, thus focusing on live projects ‘living labs. In these ’living labs’, we consider human behaviour and wellbeing as a critical part of the solution as well as the technology of buildings and their applied services. The Centre is currently conducting a number of industry-funded research projects into performance of Future Homes, monitoring building and energy performance, indoor environmental quality and occupant behaviour in real occupied homes built under current Building Regulations and Future Homes standard. 

The School of Engineering and the Built Environment is recruiting a fixed-term Researcher in Housing Performance Evaluation for 24 months starting from early 2023, with a prospect to extend the contract for longer-term collaboration.

The overall purpose of the role is to help with the implementation of externally funded projects in the Centre for Future Homes research group. We would expect the successful candidate to take on an assistant leadership role to meet the deliverables and reporting requirements of the projects.

We are seeking a full-time Research Assistant with experience in monitoring, telemetry, data analysis and post-occupancy evaluation of buildings. You will be responsible for monitoring energy/water consumption and indoor environment as well as interviewing occupants in homes built under current Building Regulations and Future Homes standard, in order to assess performance and usability of solutions. You will be responsible for the technical delivery of the project milestones, working closely with the project manager and team members.

Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Implementation and day-to-day running of the industry-funded projects Low Carbon living as well as assisting with other projects conducted in the Centre for Future Homes research group.
    • Monitoring energy consumption and indoor environmental performance of homes, as well as gather occupant feedback.
    • Conduct resident surveys to assess user experience with new low carbon systems.
    • Gather and analyse time-series data on energy consumption and indoor environment.
    • Preparation of papers for publication and making presentations at meetings and/or conferences.
    • Assist in the preparation of external bids. 

You will also be responsible for assisting other researchers in the research group (e.g., student, visitors) as required on research projects running in the Centre for Future Homes.

Skills and experience:

Qualifications:

  • A higher degree (MSc) in engineering, computing, architectural engineering, building services, architecture or similar discipline

Experience:

Essential

  • Experience of undertaking monitoring 
  • Experience of undertaking analysis and visualization of big datasets
  • Experience of designing and analysing appropriate research tools, eg questionnaires and interviews
  • Experience in various data science, analysis and data processing techniques and packages

Desirable

  • Experience of post-occupancy evaluation of buildings
  • Experience of using dynamic thermal simulation packages such as IES, Design Builder etc

Knowledge:

  • Knowledge of collecting transmitting, cleaning, and analysing data from remote sensors
  • Knowledge of housing energy use and carbon emission reductions

Personal skills:

  • Ability to work independently and provide technical guidance to development team
  • Ability to develop reporting and presentation skills to key stakeholders involving senior executives
  • Willingness to explore and learn new technologies and research for best practices / methodologies
  • Ability to engage with occupants sensitively and enthusiastically about their energy use and lifestyle.
  • Good written, verbal communication and analytical skills

Early applications are encouraged as applications will be considered on a rolling basis.

Informal enquiries can be sent to Dr Monica Mateo-Garcia (email: monica.mateogarcia@bcu.ac.uk).

Further details:

BCU Values underpin how we work in achieving the ambitions set out in our Strategy and Priorities, and are the principles that unite the way we work together and for our students.

The University is committed to internationalism and diversity and welcomes applications from all countries, faiths and backgrounds.

It is each individual successful applicants responsibility to ensure that they have permission to work in the UK. Some applicants may require sponsorship from the University and a visa from UKVI to take up the role if successful. More information on this can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa

Some roles are not capable of sponsorship because they do not meet the UKVI criteria relating to skill and salary level. If you are unsure as to whether you would require sponsorship if successful, or whether the role is capable of sponsorship, please contact us: RTinbox@bcu.ac.uk

 
Please note on occasions where we receive a large number of applications, we may close the advert ahead of the publicised closing date. If this does happen, we will contact all candidates via email who have started but not yet completed their application, giving 48 hours’ notice.  We would therefore advise that you submit your completed application as soon as possible.

At Birmingham City University we are proud to be an equal opportunities employer.  All staff are expected to understand and enact the University’s commitment to ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion in our employment practice and in all that we do . This commitment is enshrined in our Core Values and is detailed in our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Employment Policy. The University values and celebrates the diversity of our staff and students; we welcome people from the many  different backgrounds and life experiences that reflect the students and the citizens we serve.  We are committed to equality of opportunity for all staff and actively encourage unique contributions, in particular from under-represented groups in respect of age, disability, sex, gender or gender identity, ethnicity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation or transgender status

Birmingham City University ('BCU') is committed to protecting your personal data and being transparent about what we do with your personal data. One of the ways we do this is through our privacy notices. For further information please click here.

Location: Birmingham
Salary: £31,762 to £34,525 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 10th November 2022
Closes: 16th December 2022
Job Ref: 112022-660
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